I despise them... I really do.
As you say, there is nothing illegal in what they have done but
it is just so cheap to not acknowledge the source.
It wouldn't surprise me if a full student version appeared which
was an exact clone of BlueJ and Microsoft end up using their muscle
to ensure that their version becomes the defacto educational tool
used in schools and colleges - inspite of their version costing
$100 per copy and BlueJ being free - if there is the faintest whiff
of a profit there, they will do it in a flash.
I despise them.
I, also, despise Microsoft mostly for their
ability to "innovate" while
ignoring the inherent problems of a monopolized audience which spends
time coping, and coping and coping.... with mediocre, at best, MS
It is refreshing that Microsoft has "innovated" a mature,
rich, useful product, finally! Oh, wait, you have already done that!
by the way, I credit your approach to 'Object thinking' with having
enlightened not just a few of us old time, mainframe, structured
That being said, I am more than incidentally
concerned with your not having
patent protection on BlueJ. This sets you up for a possible legal
with Microsoft, and we know who wins those battles, for product
infringement on THEIR patented software. I'm not an attorney,
nor do I
'play one on TV', but I live (cope) with spouse, sons, daughters,
brother in law, etc who dabble in all sorts of Legal Specialties.
You might make a few inquires just to be informed.
This looks like a duck, and smells like a duck,
and seems to quack like a duck... Therefore...
If they have or haven't is no longer an issue. What should concern
you is what if Microsoft patents this "innovation", where
would that leave you and the wonderful BlueJ project? Food for thought.
the fact that students and teachers all over the world know the
true source of such an "innovation" is not enough... It
doesn't protect BlueJ, nor you and your colleagues, from Microsoft's
legal tactics. I entirely agree with those who are concerned about
what Microsoft can do about it in the near future. Please be careful.
I do not say English, but in this in case that
I go to strengthen itself. This already is part of the history of
the Microsoft... and they are conservatives...
I echo the fears expressed by others that,
lacking patent or copyright protection, you may find yourself overwhelmed
by lawsuits from Microsoft, who seem completely willing to patent
other people's inventions and steal them away. It is heartbreaking
to see that happen. Possibly, the years of documentation already
published on your and your colleagues' development of this fine tool
will stand you in good stead. Should you find yourselves needing
witnesses in support of your position, I'm sure you can call on a
number of us - who, delighted to discover an object-oriented way
to teach object-oriented programming, have made the switch and don't
want any commercial giant swiping this great teaching tool! Thank
you for your dedication and vision.
Just a short comment on the patent issue: I
don't think we need to be worried about Microsoft possibly taking
out a patent on this interaction style. Patent law defines a concept
called "prior art", which invalidates any patent application. Prior
art means that if an idea or technique was published before the patent
application, then a patent cannot be granted. This is clearly the
I also do not believe that there will be any legal action. We have
certainly no intention to start any, and I seriously doubt that Microsoft
can have any interest in it either.
This is also not about stopping anyone from doing this - not even
Microsoft. (Not that we could if we tried, anyway.) There have been
several initiatives before to replicate BlueJ functionality, more
or less similar (such as jotazul, bluEclipse, C#IDE, E-BOB). However,
they acknowledge the source of their ideas. (Or at least did at some
stage, in the case of C#IDE.) We have no problem with that.
So what is this all about then? Maybe I just had to get this off
my chest. I thought it was funny when I read in a blog
of one of the Microsoft engineers who worked on the implementation
of this feature (quote): "Hope you enjoy working with OTB
as much as we have enjoyed designing/developing/testing it for you!"
The issue of Microsoft using muscle to push their tool into education
in preference over others is a real possibility, though. That is
quite obviously the plan - it is the goal for a commercial company
to do what they can to get their products out there.
So, what can or should we do about it? Well, I believe there is
only one possible answer: We just continue to build the better product,
and we see people voting with their feet.
I have been using BlueJ since 2001 ver 1.3
been regularly using the newer versions. I have been
receiving information from you about the newer
versions on my Yahoo mail account. Thank you for
writing this outstanding piece of software.
The software is excellent for learning and teaching
Object Oriented concepts. Thousands of people have
used this software with me and found it very nice and
useful. Java becomes a breeze with BlueJ.
Microsoft must do what is right and just.
We are appreciative of the original MSDOS program and
its office suite but what it is dong now is not
correct. Many people at Microsoft must be aware of
BlueJ. It has been around for a fairly long time. If
they are not aware, please make them aware that your
software has been around for 6 years.
You must write a letter to Microsoft, build a blog,
build groups, post this information on news sites and
do what ever is necessary. I am not as tech savvy as
you are but I feel very strongly about this. Please
let me know if I can do some thing.
You must stand up for what is right and just. Each one
of us has to decide what is right and stand firm for
what is true and just.
I am sure a lot of people will support you.
May all the Gods, people and powers be with you,
Microsoft often did this trick, to show they're offering their clients
features while they just copied them from somewhere; another example
XML format for their documents.
I don't mind software designers/developers to use ideas of others,
find it a good way to improve. That's also why I'm completely against
software patents. But I can't stand it when, for example, Microsoft
sell its customers something as if it were new without ackowledging
Go on with your good job!
I've commented here:
All the best
heard about this from the following blog:
Sorry to hear about it. I suppose that you could feel honored that
they 'aquired' your ideas and design, but that does not account
for anything in the real world. They are such hypocrites that
it continues to amaze me.
Don't count on 'prior art' as saving anything. MS has been able
to push patents through although there has been prior art in other
tools and systems often enough, sure the techies may know this but
no one else does. They get it and the others then have to fight them.
I would just hate to see it happen, and wish you the best of luck.
I was in your class when you teaching
java at monash a few years ago. I learnt java pretty much exclusively
using bluej and found it to be an excellent IDE. I had a bit of
a laugh when i read this article because i had noticed the same thing.
When vs 2005 came out(i program in c# these days) i remember everyone
talking about the object test bench and i thought to my self i
remember doing that in bluej quite a few years ago. I didn't realise
how similar the interface was though, wow. I'd say whoever designed
that must have been working pretty closely from what bluej was doing,
obviously the interfaces will be similar because they are doing the
same thing but they are almost identical.